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Thoughts on self-retreats (or non-self retreats)

Was listening to a Dhamma talk by a Thai ajahn at the start of a three-month retreat. And I thought, man, could I even do one of those? The longest I've undertaken at a monastery was 9 days. Then I thought: hmm, my practice has been on-and-off erratic. Am coming off a turbulent couple of years. What if I tried my own three-month retreat at home? Continuing to work but setting up a more serious practice schedule. Turning the volume way down on reading the drumbeat of daily grim news in Trumpmerica. Eating more monastically -- meaning, twice a day and more healthily. Regular Dhamma readings. Get that Insight Timer 'consecutive days' sit counter past my paltry number of 9 so far? October through December perhaps? Has anyone done a similar effort or maybe your practice is already this effortful?


  • KundoKundo Sydney, Australia Veteran

    It's better than not doing anything _ /\ _

  • Has anyone done a similar effort or maybe your practice is already this effortful?

    I am on a personal retreat at the moment. I have internet connection, yesterday I was watching TV, not something I normally do ... and I now see why. Fake everything, quite frankly. Yep my retreats are very lax ...

    What we do in terms of immersing ourselves in practice is very much a personal commitment. Putting on robes, group or solitary behavour is up to us. My theme for this few days is physical practice, based around the body.

    I will say from experience that commitment to spirituality has karmic repurcussions that are all good. If you can make the effort, do. Start now.

    Good luck <3

  • In second thoughts on my post, I realized the striving in it around achievement. Three months, 9 days...But @lobster you put a claw on the core issue -- which is commitment. I've long danced around commitment. Believed that since I knew monks and could talk the talk I was walking the walk(ing meditation). And then to get lost in the not-so-funhouse of mirrors of substance misuse for a long while. Whoosh. Where did that decade go? It's arrow-fletching time:

    Udakañhi nayanti nettikā;
    usukārā namayanti tejanaṃ;
    dāruṃ namayanti tacchakā;
    attānaṃ damayanti paṇḍitā.

    Irrigators regulate the rivers;
    fletchers straighten the arrow shaft;
    carpenters shape the wood;
    the wise control themselves

    Dhammapada 6.80

  • Get that Insight Timer 'consecutive days' sit counter past my paltry number of 9 so far?

    Well done.

    I find the Insight Timer is excellent. The support, the discipline, the variety of led meditations. Equally you can commit to something like which offers group sits, teachings and very supportive and able teachers in the Zen tradition.

    If Therevada is your preference ...
    Regular dharma readings, podcasts, Youtube teachings and if possible making notes will ensure an expansion of your commitment.

    Here are my notes ...

    You are right. You are ready. Keep us informed. <3

  • _/_

  • (Let's try that again with more finger mindfulness, @lobster): _/_

  • Hmmm. It won't type a namaste. So here are two other options...

  • @Dhammika said:

    Tee hee. When I hit quote your _/_ becomes full. Oh it's gone again. Only whilst in the editing box ... ah well it is a rather complex programming issue for @Linc (our beloved host and tech guy)

    A lesson in there perhaps ...

    The important thing is when we bow ? or acknowledge respectfuly, it is a helpful recognition. It is good practice (prostrations). It is cultural but I feel good practice, a sort of Buddhist 'bend the knee'. B)

    Anyway remember outer integrates with inner. So I accept the bow and will dedicate some prostration practice merit sharing your way ... (I iz so goodly) o:)

    Don't worry about erratic practice, or not being consistent, just practice as best you can-can ...

    Here is a little conversation to make you wonder which oath/path you are on ...

    G'mar Hatima Tova <3

  • I have to admit, it is pretty surprising that there are not one (Namaste Pizza is an actual company) but TWO cultural intersections of namaste and pizza. Ergo, this shirt:

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